The owners of a tropical island resort decided to raffle it off and sold more than 53,000 $49 raffle tickets to people all over the world who were willing to take a chance on becoming the new owners of the 16 room Kosrae Nautilus Resort. The island resort, about 3800 km. off the coast of Brisbane, is part of the Federated States of Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean and home to about 6,500 people.
The owners of the resort, Australian couple Doug and Sally Beitz, moved to the island of Kosrae in 1994 with their 3 young children but now want to move back to Australia. Mr Beitz told local news agencies that selling the island online was the only viable option as their nearest real estate agent is 1,000km away.
The family decided to use a raffle as the means of selling their property so their home could go to ordinary people like them. "We look at ourselves as everyday people – we weren't highly educated people when we came here, just average, basic people," he said. The couple were high-school drop outs who had no training in how to run a resort when they started.
"We think, with the raffle, we can hopefully leave the island in the hands of someone who's not a millionaire, but in the hands of someone who's just like us." The couple’s 30-year-old son Adam thought up the unusual way of selling the family business.
The resort has 16 rooms, a 70 seat restaurant, 2 dive boats, 8 rental cars and a 4 bedroom house for the manager.
It employs 16 full-time staff and is debt-free. It can be reached by flying directly from Guam and Hawaii.
The draw took place yesterday and the winner, known only as Joshua, will receive guidance on how to run the resort from the Beitz’s.